Moxie Tries to Change The Collaboration Game

OK, I am not going to assume you know this – so here it is: Moxie Software is a long-standing client (so are the competitors for the solution described here – I cannot escape that fact; I work in the industry I cover) and I worked with them on the strategy leading to this launch.

Does this make my coverage biased?

You can decide that, after you read why this can change the game for collaboration.  If you think I can be tainted by my relationship with Moxie please feel free to stop reading.

Here is the usual scenario: you can get free collaboration tools anywhere these days – your existing software vendors, freemium solutions (Yammer and Jive come to mind immediately, but don’t forget SocialText, Mango Moon, and several others).  The main goal of these solutions is to get you to upgrade your implementation (this is the premium part of the mixed word that makes up their name) and to this end they have limitations.  They either limit the number of users, or the ability to add certain functions or features, or the ability to collaborate between public and  company’s users.  You can implement the free solution they offer and this would allow you to “try” their product until you need to do more – then you can buy the new features, functions, more users, etc.  In the “old days” before cloud we would get 30-day or 60-day trials, or a reduced set of features when it came to saving, printing, or miss a few data elements in the database.

The problem is that often times organizations end up upgrading only to realize afterwards the tool is not the right one for their culture or their organization (based on my work, I estimate this number between 30-and 40% of upgrades).  This is something they could not preview with the reduced set solution.  If you cannot see how internal and external users collaborate, you end up paying for a solution that may not work as you need it.  Or it may not scale to the size you need (it is very different to support 100 users versus 100,000 users – or even 10,000 users).  Or something else.  The options are to either start again, or try to make what you have work – find a work-around or custom-code to make it “fit”.

The pricing model Moxie chose is closer to what I have been advocating for a long time: value-based pricing (I told you, I  worked with them on the strategy).  In other words, you don’t have to pay until you have proven that the solution works for your needs and are ready to take the next step.  That means you can invite external and internal users to pilot and test all the features, in all circumstances, for all possible scenarios.  Once you are satisfied and you are ready to integrate the functionality into your existing systems (using deep integration, this is not what any organization would normally pilot, this is organization adoption level – many stages into the maturity of the implementation), that is where you pay.  When you have proven that it works for what you intend to do, and are ready to deliver value – you pay for access to the value.

This is a different model that I have seen before, and one that I fully believe the enterprise software space.  Is this highly competitive to Yammer, Jive, and others that are providing similar solutions? Not more than before.  Obviously this model does not change the competitive landscape: same vendors that they competed with before will continue to be competitors in the same way.

However, this opens up the possibility to try collaboration to organizations that previously could not: those that found Yammer too limiting (or their restrictions too cumbersome), or that found Jive too expensive or others too small or not able to deliver what they needed.

This is not about adding features to existing collaboration platforms – this is about giving organizations that could not test those platforms before a way to do so.  And to deliver value in exchange for the time invested.

This could change the game.

Link to more information from Moxie’s web site
Coverage by TEC